Cars > Iconic

The very first Porsche car ever built is coming up for auction

The 1939 Type 64 predates the 356 production model

Where can you find a car with a classier shape? PHOTO FROM RM SOTHEBY’S

To just call the car you see here rare and special would be a massive understatement. The Type 64 is nothing less than the missing link between the Volkswagen Beetle predecessor known as the Kraft Durch Freude Wagen (“Strength Through Joy” car) and the Porsche 356. Developed by Ferdinand Porsche and driven by his son Ferry, this is the first car to ever have the name “Porsche” attached to its metal skin. Or in other words: This is the first-ever Porsche. Without the Type 64, there would have been no 356, no 550 and almost certainly no 911. This ultra-rare Porsche is coming up for auction in America in August, and is expected to fetch a price worthy of its pedigree.

No modern-day paint job can beat this color. PHOTOS FROM RM SOTHEBY’S

The Type 64 was originally built to compete in the Berlin-Rome Race in September 1939, an event that never took place due to the Second World War breaking out. It was developed by Ferdinand Porsche and was based on the platform of the very first Beetle prototype, the Type 60. Instead of the usual bug shape, the Type 64 was fitted with a streamlined aluminum body, and the four-cylinder boxer engine at the back was tuned to produce 40hp instead of the usual 24hp. This setup allowed a respectable top speed of 150km/h that the car could hold over long distances.

Back when engines had no complicated tech. PHOTOS FROM RM SOTHEBY’S

In total, three of these vehicles were built. The first one was damaged in an accident and taken off the road as a result. The second one is said to have been destroyed by US troops when the latter occupied the Porsche estate in the Austrian town of Zell am See in 1945. And the third one was built up on the remains of the first one. It is this third one which is now coming up for grabs, and if being based on the prototype of the Type 60 Beetle wasn’t special enough, this Type 64 was also the very first car to carry the Porsche name, with the magic letters having been attached to the front of the car by Ferry Porsche himself in 1946. This was even before the first car to officially sport the famous brand—the 356/1 Roadster—ever hit the road.

We’re 99% sure there’s no Bluetooth in here. PHOTOS FROM RM SOTHEBY’S

This automobile was sold to the Austrian racing driver Otto Mathé at the end of the 1940s, but not before it had some restoration work done by a certain Battista “Pinin” Farina in Turin, Italy. Yes, as if this car needed any more added awesomeness, it even got worked on by one of the greatest coachbuilders to ever live. Unsurprisingly, the price which the Type 64 is expected to fetch is somewhat astronomical. When it comes up for auction at the RM Sotheby’s event in Monterey, California, on August 15-17, it is estimated to fetch around €18 million (P1.05 billion). That might sound like a lot, but it’s probably a fair price to pay for getting permanent bragging rights at Porsche classic-car meets.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring.